Fulham 3 -1 Villa; Brief thoughts, plus do we really want Blues relegated?

I’m going to slightly gloss over the actual result today, for two reasons.
First, I didn’t get to see or even hear the game at all.
And second, I have to confess that I’m honestly not that bothered.
That sounds wrong, but now that we have nothing to play for, I just find it hard to maintain interest and it’s just a case of the season seeing it’s way out until we go again (did I really just say that?) next season.

From what I’ve heard though, it sounds like we had another shocker today, with Amavi, Gardner and Elphick all having poor games. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these players, but I’m guessing that we’ll see two of them sold in the summer.

As for Kodjia getting a red card, well, deliberately kicking a player is unforgivable, but he was apparently only reacting to some “treatment” he’d been getting previously.
I suppose sometimes it’s just hard to keep taking stick and not react, for any young(ish) male and we all have our limits.
I’m not at all excusing it though and you have to not let it get to you.
That said, I’ve heard some suggest that Kodjia’s a bit of a wimp in the way he seems to get injured so easily but I’m not convinced myself. Like any other decent striker, he gets targeted, in my opinion.

Whatever, it’s bloody annoying, because he’s going to be out for the rest of the season, which of course includes the Blues game, where I was hoping he’d be stuffing at least one goal up them.

And that leads me nicely onto our neighbours, where news has emerged that Gianfranco Zola has resigned.
It’s no surprise given his absolutely atrocious record and on first hearing the news I was quite glad. A managerless club usually struggles afer all and beating them, possibly helping them towards relegation seriously appeals.

Or does it?
While any bad news regarding Blues is generally good for us Villa fans and you have to laugh at how poor the decision to sack Rowett and appoint Zola looks, so I’m not really convinced that Blues should get relegated.

When I was younger, I’d have practically been wetting my pants at the thought of a Blues relegation. It’s just that tribal instinct, isn’t it?
Yet, now I’ve matured and mellowed, so I now believe it won’t be a particularly good thing for us.
It’s been argued on here that if we really want to improve as a club, so we need tough competition on our doorstep. Yes, we have it with the Albion to some extent, but it’s not the same, because they’re not our actual “enemy”.

Think about it, before you poo-poo what I’m saying.
Liverpool have Everton, Man Utd have Man City and the London clubs have the obvious, all competing with each other at similar levels.
Whereas Blues haven’t really competed with us for donkey’s years, even on the odd occasions they were above us in the table.
I mean, it might just be me, but I don’t really get that sense of hatred between the two club’s sets of fans any more. Yes, it manifests itself at the actual games, but generally I think the rivalry isn’t as intense as it was.
For example, while I never heard a nose say they were sorry we were going down last season, by the same token I always got the sense that they thought it somehow didn’t seem right that we were being relegated.
Perhaps that’s just down to the more older people I talk to these days, but interestingly, some of them were “players” in the bad old days of serious football hooliganism, so definitely had the “hatred”.

Whatever, my point is that while we might all have a right good laugh if the Blues do get relegated, I’m not so convinced it’ll be good for us.
Plus we won’t even have the derby to look forward too, will we?


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  1. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 April 18, 2017 at 7:26 am . Reply

    Hard to judge on this game. Fulham at home with 10 men for 70 minutes never going to be anything but a defeat. Add two games in 48 hours and I agree with you, Badger, the only relevant point is Kodjia’s sending off. I hope Villa appeal it because then the FA will have to look at whether Fredricks kicked him as well.

    Bruce tried resting players and went 3-5-2 – it wasn’t working up to the point Kodjia got sent off and, although generally, I think Bruce is the right manager to get us up, imho he got it wrong. Playing 3-5-2 against a Fulham side known to play with fast full backs with Bree and Amavi playing wing backs – no chance. After sending off, went 5 at the back and it was attack and defence BUT we didn’t capitulate and their second goal was a massive deflection of Baker. Their third was after Bruce pulled off Amavi and sent RHM on for some experience – left a big gap on the left of the defence which Fulham exploited but wouldn’t blame Bruce for that.

    Think the Blues game will be tougher for Zola having resigned but, if other results go against them Saturday they could start the game in the bottom three – don’t really care one way or the other whether they get relegated as I think their sacking of Rowett was outrageous.

    1. jvillan
      jvillan April 18, 2017 at 10:15 am . Reply

      fulham won on friday with only 10 men

  2. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 April 18, 2017 at 10:19 am . Reply

    Redknapp appointed Blues boss – adds spice to Sunday’s game and he has a good track record against the Villa.

  3. owen
    owen April 18, 2017 at 5:50 pm . Reply

    Bruce deserves a second season but if in January we are not top 4 and close to top 2 he needs to go. He got us paying a 433 and got us 5 points from playoffs at end of December. Then he blew it in jan and feb with stupid formations. Returned to 433 and surprise surprise we got reasonably close to the playoffs again. Now he’s experimenting because he doesn’t like 433. If he accepts it works, bet he goes back to it against Blues, then we will be a good bet to go up. My fear is he wants to accommodate Hogan who is very poor in my opinion. Need to build team round Kodjia. As soon as Kodjia went off against Burton and Hogan came on our slim play off dream was over.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm . Reply

      Assuming we keep Kodja of course

  4. Villain1
    Villain1 April 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm . Reply

    There is no doubt that Bruce is under pressure to deliver promotion next season, given the money invested by Dr Tony, therefore even finishing 3rd and losing in the play offs would constitute failure next season IMO. There will be no excuses that we have had in the past – the team, manager and coaching staff will be settled, there will be a full pre season, there wont be a lot of business after January so the squad should be gelled and no excuses about world cups, euros or african nations, as none of these will affect the season.

    Therefore, there is nowhere to hide and we must improve dramatically. The team is too one dimensional and if Kodija isn’t performing, the rest of the team is flat. The likes of Lansbury, Hourihane and Hogan have to step up massively in time for August otherwise Bruce will pay the price.

    Still things could be worse, we could have old Arry Redknapp waiting to bankrupt us with more dodgy deals straight to his dogs bank account in Monaco.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 18, 2017 at 9:45 pm . Reply

      At least blue noses will get a better car deal than us with Harry there

    2. owen
      owen April 18, 2017 at 11:05 pm . Reply

      I totally agree. Need to Keep Kodjia but also make us less one dimensional. Lansbury Hourihane and Jedinak all quality and yet we look weak if we play 442. But this is the only way of Bruce wants Hogan to contribute. Also over course of a season Bruce’s points per game record wouldn’t have us in the playoffs. Much to do.

  5. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum April 19, 2017 at 6:44 pm . Reply

    I’d love to see a load of Villa banners taking the piss out of Harry’s tax exploits! We really know how to wind him up!!! Lol!!!
    I think as soon as the Burton game was over, the flip flops were well and truly out. Nothing to play for, except perhaps the local derby. We see it all the time in footy.
    Perhaps Bruce should let the senior squad go on their holidays early and play the kids for fun. Providing they forego their wages obviously!
    Roll on next season!!! There will be fewer better teams with Brighton and the Barcodes going up. The Prem teams coming down offer little threat. It’d serve the Swans owners right for not sticking with Monk. Bad move!

  6. originallondonlion
    originallondonlion April 21, 2017 at 12:20 am . Reply

    Shifty does not begin to describe the Peaky Blinder who has taken the reins at St Andrews. How did they arrive at that appointment? I guess having gone through the list of managers from A to Z, found that Z was a flop they worked backwards to the last letter that was a success – R.

    “I don’t want no money!” might have appealed to the Chinese tight-wad as a pitch, but of course the Dog wants a bone or two.

    “I’ve never seen Birmingham play.” was a brave admission for the new gaffer to make. Well Harry, here’s hoping you can still say the same after 90 minutes at Villa Park!

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 21, 2017 at 6:54 pm . Reply

      I’m even more amazed that Redcrapp is managing a team outside London as he is do London centric it’s untrue. I bet he won’t move to the midlands and will only micro manage the team unless they are playing in London.

  7. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain April 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm . Reply

    Off-topic, but RIP Ugo.
    Great player and by all accounts a very decent bloke.

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